Here's how it works. First, look around your house and find things that no one plays with anymore. Talk to your older children and see if they want to give said items to their darling baby sister.
"Seth, can I take your chair and put new fabric on it to give to Libby for her birthday?"
"Sure Mom, I don't really sit in it anymore".
That is really big. He agreed and told me why he agreed. I let him help me pick out the fabric from my sewing room and I got to work.
Seth's beloved little chair he got for his 1st birthday.
Taking out 15,000 staples
Putting in another 15,000 staples
A brand new chair for Miss Libby.
Once the kids realized what I was doing, they were really excited to find more things to give to Libby. Seth has this doll, Max. He got Max when he was 15 months old. I got him this doll to help him get ready for us to have a baby in our house. He and Max quickly became inseparable. He took Max with us everywhere we went. Max has always been the favorite baby of anyone who comes to our house, including Amelia and Libby.
Seth nursing Max, July 2006 (he was 2)
Seth decided that he wanted to give Max to Libby for her birthday. When I told my Mom this, she said "Wow! That is big!". So we washed Max up, hung him on the line to dry, and put him in a sweet little bag for Miss Liberty.
Amelia wanted to get in on the action too, so she found a little airplane that she just knew Libby would love and chose the wrapping paper for us to wrap it in. She was so excited watching Libby open it this morning.
Lib's last gift was a piano. This was a piano that Amelia got for her 1st birthday. The keys had come off and the top needed a new dowel and to be glued on. It has been sitting in Jeremy's closet for 6 months, at least. Jeremy got it out, cleaned it up, fixed it and gave it to Libby.
Libby is in Heaven. Sitting in her new chair, with her piano and doll and airplane in her bag (under her arm)
She was thrilled. And it didn't cost us a dime. More importantly, my children learned what it really means to give, and they loved it.
I encourage you to try to do a free birthday for one of your kids. I am so glad I did and so is she.